Wednesday, February 3, 2016

UP's "Jo Frost: Nanny on Tour" - “Firestarter or Peacemaker: What Are You” - Thurs., Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. EST - REVIEWED!!



Synopsis: “Firestarter or Peacemaker: What Are You” – Episode 102 
It’s a story of a stressed single mom with two kids who is desperately trying to pick up the pieces from a divorce.  With a sassy six-year-old and a very sensitive son, the flare-ups are constant, but just who is starting the fire?

My Thoughts:
"Do it for those beautiful children in there that  you love." 

Nanny Jo Frost speaks the truth in love like few people I know!  She can observe and identify problems and their solutions with discernment and boldness that makes her insertion into the lives of this family very powerful and effective!! 

Honestly, there is a LOT to be learned from Jo Frost!  I love this show and the hope that is sheds on all-to-common family situations.  I love the fact that she acknowledges that to ask for the help that is needed is a hugely positive thing!

This is a great episode of a very powerful and positive show!  I am excited to recommend it to you!

About Up:
UP is television's trusted entertainment brand dedicated to providing viewers with "feel good TV for you and your family."  UP uplifts viewers every day with premiere movies, original reality, dramatic and comedy series filled with compelling stories and characters with character. In keeping with its brand promise, UP’s pro-social initiative, Uplift Someone,” inspires people to do simple, everyday acts of kindness.  UP is widely available on cable systems and satellite providers across the United States. Based in Atlanta, UP is a division of UP Entertainment, LLC and partners with the ASPiRE network on sales, marketing and other operational services. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Ashes to Ashes by Mel Starr - REVIEWED



About the Book:
Master Hugh, Kate, and their children attend the Midsummer's Eve fire. The next morning Hugh hears the passing bell ring from the Church of St. Beornwald, and moments later is summoned. Tenants collecting the ashes to spread upon their fields have found burned bones. Master Hugh learns of several men of Bampton and nearby villages who have gone missing recently. Most are soon found, some alive,...

My Thoughts:
Wounds may heal, regret seldom does.”  (p. 92)

Master Hugh de Singleton’s service as surgeon and bailiff for Lord Gilbert Talbot is one filled with both wounds and regret.   I’ve followed Hugh through many adventures, and this is the first time that either he or his wife Kate had questioned their roles of service to their community.  Master Hugh never wavers in his determination to identify and bring justice for the person whose remains were discovered amid the ashes of the Midsummer’s Eve fire. However, I believe he has suffered more in his search for answers in this story than ever before.

I also think he encounters more dead ends and false leads in his pursuit of justice than ever before, because there seems to be another group equally determined to prevent his discovery of answers as he is determined to find them.  This tension between the warring factions in this story even brings Lord Talbot himself out into the fray!  This is a serious clash of intent!!

Even though Master Hugh and his lovely family remain the focus of normalcy and decency in the story, their roles come under greater demand than ever before.  There also seems to be an even greater cloud of deception than ever before, and that causes even the reader to question the worth of discovering the answers and justice for the poor soul who has clearly suffered more dearly than anyone!

Once again, Mel Starr has written a clever and intriguing tale of 14th century detective work!  As always, the dialogue, the interaction among the characters, the sheer battle of will between right and wrong draws me in and keeps me captive from first to last page!  Ashes to Ashes is an excellent addition to the chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, and his next adventure promises to be even more fraught with danger!

What are you waiting for!?  Get started!  You have much to read and enjoy!! 

About the Author: (from his web page)


Mel Starr was born and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He graduated from Spring Arbor High School in 1960, and Greenville College (Illinois) in 1964. He received an MA in history from Western Michigan University in 1970. He taught history in Michigan public schools for thirty-nine years, thirty-five of those in Portage, MI, where he retired in 2003 as chairman of the social studies department of Portage Northern High School.


Mel married Susan Brock in 1965, and they have two daughters; Amy (Kevin) Kwilinski, of Naperville, IL, and Jennifer (Jeremy) Reivitt, of Portage, MI. Mel and Susan have seven grandchildren. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

A View from Barbara Lachance's Window - Saying Yes to God! Be encouraged!


Through my many illnesses, I have learned over and over again that It’s not circumstances that determine my response.  I learned that it’s not feeling that make up my mind.  I say yes to God, even when he doesn’t say yes to me.  – p,19

What would you say to someone suffering chronic illness – to encourage them NOT to give way to depression and despair?

When I say that it’s not feelings that make up my mind, it is because feelings lie to us.  So when I sense that God isn’t saying yes to me, my feelings will often take control. So I need to be in control of my feelings.  I wasn’t always able to do this.  It came with practice. 

One of the principles that I learned when I first received Jesus into my life was to rejoice in all circumstances.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  I practiced this.  Whenever anything went wrong I would immediately start “Praising the Lord!”  Consequently this turned into a lifestyle. 

But, we just can’t tell someone who has chronic illness that if they would just pray more, praise the Lord, or have more faith, or any of the platitudes we often tell people who are in physical and emotional pain, but expressing genuine comfort, building a trusting relationship by listening and praying for the individual will open the door for us to speak into their life.  So often we think we need to tell rather than listen.  Jesus was a great listener.  What I would tell a person is this; I will listen to you, and love you with unconditional love. And I will pray for and with you.   Let us be open to the Holy Spirit and what He wants to do in your life.

Forgiveness is certainly one of those ways in which saying yes to God makes little sense and crushes our flesh. – p. 42

It is so much easier to cling to unforgiveness than to forgive someone who has hurt us deeply. Yet this one thing alone makes saying, “yes” to God impossible.  How were you able to forgive those who had hurt you so deeply?

I once went to a workshop for women who had been abused.  The room was filled with victims.  One lady had actually killed her husband and spent time in jail. 
The leader of the workshop told everyone that they should never forgive for if they do they will let the perpetrator back into their lives.  The room was full of bitter women.  When I looked at the sadness in the eyes of these women, I realized how important it was to forgive.  I realized Jesus’ death on the cross was sufficient for all of my pain. 
I once heard it said, “That unforgiveness is like someone drinking poison thinking the other person is going to die.”  Yet, we struggle with forgiveness because we want to hold on thinking if we release those who hurt us he is getting away with what they did.  We don’t forgive based on how we feel but we forgive because God commanded us to do so.  And, this forgiveness is a decision not based on how we feel, it is a process.  I forgave those who hurt me deeply but it took several years of constantly making a strong effort, I became relentless and it worked.  I was set free!


If we remain in bondage to the opinions of other people, we will be limited in our power to say yes to God. – p. 67

Again, this is a form of bondage that grips us from an early age!  How would you encourage young folks not to begin the practice of listening to the opinion of others?  Especially when you KNOW what God has asked you to do and you want to walk in obedience to HIM?

If we could teach young people who they are in Christ, that they are blessed, have an inheritance, adopted into the Kingdom, then I think listening to God would become more important than listening to the opinions of others.

Listening to the opinions of others in my opinion is really having fear of man.  This is a tough concept for young people but it is true.  They are subject to so much peer pressure.  When my children were growing up, I tried to build confidence in each one.  Young people are so vulnerable and need affirmation but the right kind of affirmation.  I will tell them to trust their ability to hear God and not worry about making a mistake.  God is more interested in their obedience than how successful they are.

And continually dredging it up for “healing” is just like ripping off a fresh scab. You are a new creation in Christ.  As a new creation, you don’t have any scabs.  You don’t have any wounds.  You were made brand new by His extraordinary love and sacrifice. – p 69

This seems to be the toxic combination that forms when unforgiveness meets the opinions of others!  How do you lead someone to embrace their identity in Christ?  Forgiven and made new?  Why is this so hard?

It is hard because we make it hard.  We like our self-pity, it gives us attention.  When we seek attention from the brokenness within, it is extremely toxic.  If we wallow in our self-pity, we allow the enemy to fill our minds with negativity about the person who hurt us and ourselves. We speak 2500 words to ourselves per minute.  If this is negative talk, then imagine the outcome.   

One of the biggest mistakes I made was convening with others who were hurt and we had a field day just being critical of all those who hurt us.  Bitterness grew and it caused me a lot of physical pain as well as spiritual pain. 

Jesus said to pick up our cross and follow Him.  He was our example when He embraced the cross; we often have to embrace our crosses in life in order to receive healing.   My questions to those who came for pastoral counseling “Are you willing to face the pain in order to get well?”  Most people answer “Of Course.” But I found they don’t always follow through.

Repentance always brings healing, when someone we should forgive, repent of our own bitter reactions, and bless the person who hurt us hurts us. Finally we need to forgive ourselves.  This is something we often over look.

Know you are in Christ. Own who you are in Christ.  Be who He believes you are – a beautiful, spectacular, radiant creation with one of a kind gifts. Be who you are in Him.  A powerful, faith-filled, determined giver of life to everyone you meet.  As you fully discover your true identity in Christ, the journey of saying yes to God truly begins. – p70

Renewing your mind starts by humbling yourself, trusting God, and obeying Him. P. 73

Renewing your mind seems as difficult for believers that have been in faith for years as it is for brand new believers!  Why?

I believe this is because we don’t believe Jesus when he says who He is.  He is our redeemer, savior, His dying on the cross brought about our salvation.  That word for salvation is “sozo.”  You are healed and being healed.  Having trust, belief, equals FAITH.  I spell faith “risk.  Taking risk is fearful, we are not sure of the results.  But risk that equals faith that is the substance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1).  If we believed what the word says, and took God at His word I think renewing our minds would be easier.

 We think it is difficult, and convince ourselves that it is difficult.  But that is a lie.  If we truly sought after transforming our minds, wouldn’t the Holy Spirit give us what we need? 

There is everything we need in Scripture for the transformation of our mind.  For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12
This verse speaks for itself.


Our healing doesn’t come from regurgitating the broken trust and the assaults we’ve suffered at the hands of others, but from meditation on the truth and affirmation we find in His word and the blesses unspeakable peace we feel in his presence. P 82
When we constantly rehearse and rehash our pains, we won’t move past them.  We won’t experience God’s healing and we are unable to become agents of His live in our communities. P. 83

When I read these two quotes, my heart leapt within me!! “YES!”  This is so incredibly true!!  Can you tell us how you arrived at this truth in your own life? I have a feeling it has all to do with this statement:  Forgive the injury.  Release the offence.  Bless the offender. P.84

When I was very ill, I received a lot of attention.  People were constantly asking how I felt.  They were always telling me that I had such courage; they admired me because I wouldn’t give up.  I didn’t realize at the time, I really liked hearing what they were saying.  After I had a liver transplant I was feeling wonderful.  I actually looked 10 years younger.  But, people were not asking me how I felt.  I missed the attention, and I had to learn how to live as a healthy person. 

When we go through a healing process, and walk through forgiveness we need to learn how to walk in freedom.  Accept the healing and move on.

Whatever we speak out will become true.  We are to pray for our enemies because God knows that’s the only way change will come.  Be a person that forgives and speaks blessings into painful situations. P.84

Can you elaborate on speaking the truth of God’s Word over a situation? How has this changed your own life?

Each morning I speak out loud (most of the time) that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, a new creation in Christ and no weapon formed against me will prosper.  I say it until I believe it.

People have a really difficult time with this, but it is really accepting who God says I am and what He will do.  I often tell people when I go out to speak that they should stand in front of the mirror naked and say, “I praise you God because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  This always brings up a strong reaction from people.  It is about accepting self. 

When we reach the point where we desire only to be in the place He desires us to be, I believe we are completely able to say yes to God. P.113

Realistically, how long does it take to arrive at this point with God?  Is this different for every believer? What makes the difference?

Realistically, I have desired this for a many years, and I am still working on it.  Desiring something doesn’t necessarily mean we have accomplished it.  Everyone is at a different place in his or her relationship to God. Actually we are always going to have new challenges to do new work that will require us to say yes. 

So we will always have an opportunity to say Yes to God.  I have a saying that I put in my book Saying Yes To God discipline turns to desire, desire turns to delight.  I find that discipline, saying yes, turns to desire, I want to do it, then it becomes delight. 
I often think we try so hard in the natural to do something, but God wants our desire to come from the spiritual realm, the Holy Spirit.  If we surrender to the Holy Spirit’s we will find this much easier than we think.

I find that when I am grateful instead of fearful, I see the world as Jesus does.

Fear has altered human perspective since the Garden of Eden!  How do we combat fear effectively?

We need to stand up to our fears.  Look them right in the face.  Believe what the Scriptures say and live a lifestyle based on Ephesians 6:10-18.  This isn’t a prayer we say by rote but something we live.

…on the other side of my “yes God” is someone else’s “please God.” P 121

This was a POWERFUL statement to me!! To know that someone is praying for me to find direction and the strength to walk in obedience is amazing!  How did you see this displayed in your own life?

Many times I found that what I was doing was the result of other’s praying.  Someone needed to do the job, and I was available to say yes.

The story I told in the book regarding the pastor’s prayers has resulted in my teaching at that church every week.  I am having a wonderful time, teaching and enjoying the fellowship.  My husband and I have decided to make this our home church.  And, the beauty of my relationship with the leadership is awesome.  They are supportive of my calling, and bless my comings and goings.  It is a wonderful Spirit Filled Church that allows me to have a refuge to be who I am.

What closing words of encouragement would you like to leave with readers?


I read all of the questions before beginning to answer.  None of them can be answered in just a few sentences.  Each question is unique to each individual.  And each of us learns how to walk in relationship with God in a different way.  I attempted to answer the questions in a way that each individual felt their unique calling from God. I hope the reader will understand that God’s love for them will lead them to a place of healing, and it might just be different from individual to individual.  And, they have a purpose “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.  When we say “Yes” to God, we are saying yes to fulfilling our divine purpose.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Peacock Throne by Lisa Karon Richardson - REVIEWED


About the Book:
A mysterious throne holds the key to two murders; an epic adventure steeped in treachery and romance

When Miss Lydia Garrett's guardian is murdered, and the authorities refuse to investigate the odd circumstances, she vows to catch the culprit. The same night the Earl of Danbury is murdered in his bed. Against all odds it appears that the murders are related--and Anthony Douglas, the new Lord Danbury, is bent on revenge.

The clues point to the former earl’s first naval command. In 1758 the earl spirited away and hid the magnificent Peacock Throne at the behest of the Indian royal family. To draw out the murderer, Anthony and Lydia agree that they must locate the throne.

They are not the only ones interested in the Peacock Throne, however. Marcus Wiltshire, a British intelligence, has received hints that Bonaparte intends to return the throne to India and leverage its mystical significance to foment rebellion and cut England off from her most important trading partner.

When the amateur sleuths join forces with the professional agent, the quest for the throne leads them around the globe on an adventure steeped in danger, treachery, and romance.

My Thoughts:

Idiotic.  It was the only word that fit.  He was idiotic.”  (p. 97)

Well, this sentiment is one that is bounced around at a frantic pace in Lisa Karon Richardson’s book, The Peacock Throne!  I haven’t been this thoroughly entertained in so many genres-all-at-once in a while!!  This story begins with a double homicide that morphs into domestic violence, that morphs into a type of espionage that morphs into a full scale treasure hunt for pirates’ loot – Hint! Hint! This throne is some kind of wonderful!

Lydia Garrett winds up in betwixt and between situations and people that the reader has to sort out time and time again!  Who is the good guy?  Who is the bad guy?  And more than that, Lydia’s heart gets the better of her, and her judgement isn’t so sound sometimes…and that becomes dangerous!

I’m telling you now…there is SO MUCH to like about this book!  It doesn’t matter what genre you prefer, this book has got it!  But the best part is…all of is well-written and keeps your imagination fully captive from first to last page!!  A rip-roaring good time will be had between the covers of this novel!  I highly recommend it to everyone!!


And you won’t BELIEVE how it ends!!!  You have to read this!!!

About the Author:

Lisa Karon Richardson is the author of several novels including Diamond in the Rough, Vanishing Act, and Curtain Call. Her novella, Impressed by Love, was a Carol Award finalist. Lisa and her husband are currently planting a home missions church in the USA, having previously been missionaries to the Seychelles and Gabon.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

CONSUMED BY FIRE PREPARES TO UNLEASH FULL-LENGTH ALBUM, GIVING OVER ON MARCH 25


                 


Los Angeles, Calif. (Jan. 26, 2016)—As a follow up to their celebrated EP Lean On Me, released last year, rising artist Consumed By Fire is excited to reveal its debut full-length album with Inpop Records titled Giving Over on March 25.

Music listeners are being introduced to the Ward brothers, Caleb (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Josh (Guitar, Harmony Vocals) and Jordan (Drums, Harmony Vocals), through their rising hit single “Lean On Me.” The song is quickly becoming a fan favorite as it climbs the charts attracting listeners of all ages. Additionally, the single can be heard in Hallmark’s original movie The Ultimate Legacy set to premiere on January 31 at 9pm EDT. 

“We are extremely excited about this band,” shares Mark Lusk, President of Inpop Records. “With the immense nearly immediate success of their debut single and now it being featured inThe Ultimate Legacy, we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of Consumed By Fire’s journey. They are a group of strong brothers with a passionate heart for God and His people. We believe this album will truly encourage listeners and become a staple in their music collection.”

With a theme of ultimate surrender, the band’s lyrics were inspired from personal experiences that challenged them to cast aside their own fears and plans and give into the path God paved for them.

“Even when you don’t feel like it, that gift and that calling isn’t going anywhere so we’ve learned to just surrender to it, give over to it,” explains frontman Caleb Ward, the youngest sibling.

Discovered by producer Scotty Wilbanks via YouTube, together they developed 11 tracks that showcase the brothers’ church roots combined with their varied musical influences that are also anchored lyrically in the deep faith that fuels them, giving them a sound that is uniquely their own.

Together, their goal is to continue spreading the gospel through honest, authentic music.

“There’s the struggle in this record, and there’s victory at the same time,” Jordan shares. “You’re not just left in the valley. We do talk about the mountain too. We’re just being honest and saying, ‘Yeah, we’ve been both places.’ And we’re moving on and moving forward.”

For more information on Consumed By Fire, please go to www.cbfmusic.com andwww.inpoprecords.com.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Saying Yes To God by Barbara LaChance - REVIEWED (just go buy the book today!!)


About the Book:
Saying Yes to God is about one family’s decision to obey God’s call, no matter the cost, no matter the comfort. This incredible true story reminds us all that life if meant to be lived for others, not only in word, but in deed. Love is only fully realized through sacrifice. Few families demonstrate the love and sacrifice of a lifetime like the Lachances. Every reader will be inspired by the beautiful surrender of love through the lives of Barbara Lachance, her family, and the community of severe special needs children that no one wanted until the Lachance family said “yes” to God.

My Thoughts:
When we reach the point where we desire only to be in the place He desires us to be, I believe we are completely able to say yes to God.”  (p. 113)
But what if you aren’t in that place, what if unforgiveness, illness or tragedy lie between you and your relationship with God?  I’m glad you asked! And Barbara LaChance, author of Saying Yes To God is too!! In her book, she addresses all of these issues and more!  In a very intimate, forthright manner of a dear friend, she tells her story.  That alone is an encouragement and inspiration, but she also is transparent enough to be vulnerable enough to tell you how she has grown and changed in her own faith walk that has spanned decades.  She is honest and shares her pursuit of physical healing, and how, still suffering chronic illness, she has developed an attitude of thankfulness and how God has used her illness to position her to be able to minister the gospel to others who died within hours of accepting Christ.
Honestly, this book has had a very powerful impact on my life!  Barbara hasn’t had an easy life, and, in fact, she and her husband have lived so sacrificially through their lifetime, that countless lives have been impacted for all eternity!  I even found some of my own healing in the pages of this book!  When she shares her heart about inner healing, about letting the past be the past and embracing  true forgiveness…it has changed my life!!  I find myself taking my thoughts captive and speaking forgiveness and blessing over the situation!!

I’m telling you now – EVERYONE needs to read this book!! It is powerful, practical, honest, true to God’s Word and gives God all the glory for everything!!  I am so blessed to have had this God appointment touch my life so profoundly!!  AMEN!! And AMEN!! And AMEN!!!
About the Author:
Barbara Lachance is an ordained Anglican Minister, a Certified Life Coach, and a Master Life Strategist. Seeing each person as a unique gift of God she and her husband Gerry founded the second Community Training Home in Connecticut and later expanded to New Covenant Inc., a Group Home for people with Developmental Disabilities. She is the founder of Connecticut House of Prayer and Spirit Wind Center two successful non-profit organizations. She has taught internationally on the subject of Pastoral Counseling and Prayer. Having a passion for teaching people how to have a closer relationship with God through intimate prayer, she has seen lives transformed all over the world by helping people unite with God in prayer as they plan their personal and professional lives. Discovering a talent for painting later in life and is now using her artistic ability as another tool to help individuals discover their divine calling. She is the author of two successful books, The Bland Canvass and Prayer for the Workplace. Barbara and her husband Gerry live on their farm in Connecticut where they own and operate Generational Solutions LLC. There they share their talents and successes with others who are searching for the tools to operate a successful, Christ based business. Fans can contact Barbara Lachance at http://www.sayingyestogod.com, connect with her through her facebook page or reach her via email barbara@generationalsolutionsllc.com.